ORGANIZING TEAM

A people-powered department is nothing without its people. The USDAC is an evolving act of collective imagination, conceived by many. The following people, along with our Cultural Agents and members of the National Cabinet,  are helping hold it together and bring it forth.


Office of Instigation

Chief Instigator

Chief Instigator

Adam Horowitz is an artist, instigator, cultural organizer, and founder of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). He’s also a co-convener of Nuns & Nones, bringing Women Religious and Millennials together in new communities of contemplation and social action. Adam was co-executive director of the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC and has worked with numerous organizations at the intersection of arts, education, and social change—Ashoka, The Future Project, and the International Folk Art Market, among others. He has traveled internationally as a theater-maker and researcher and was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, Artist in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and an inaugural Fellow with the Intercultural Leadership Institute and the Roddenberry Foundation

Minister of Collaboration and Activation

Minister of Collaboration and Activation

Chief Ray of Sunshine

Chief Ray of Sunshine

Gabrielle Uballez is a cultural organizer, educator, and art omnivore. Her passion for equitable arts access is rooted in 20-years of experience, at every level, in community-based arts and platforms that support artists of color. She most recently served as the executive director of Working Classroom, a grassroots arts organization of which she is an alumnus.

She has served at and is associated with: the Studio Museum in Harlem; Crescendo Cultural at the National Museum of Mexican Art; the Western States Arts Federation Emerging Leaders of Color network; the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Leadership Institute; the Creative Facilitation Gathering design team at the Academy for the Love of Learning; apprenticed under chef Zarela Martinez; grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts; and served on local community boards.

Uballez received her B.A. in Art and Art History from Pomona College and a certificate from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders.  She is a proud Latina, wife, and mother of a Chinese-Chicanx child, currently living in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

When Carol Zou was growing up in subsidized university housing as the child of first-generation Chinese immigrants, she read The Fledgling by Jane Langton and convinced the rest of the children in the apartment complex that if they practiced hard enough, they could collectively learn how to fly. She is still a professional dreamer, interlocutor, writer, organizer, educator, provocateur, and systems architect around issues of public space, imagination, and liberation from structural oppression. Collaborative endeavors include Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, Michelada Think Tank, Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, and Asian Arts Initiative. Carol received her BFA from Cornell University with minors in Urban Planning and Gender Studies, and her MFA in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design. She has participated in fellowships and residencies from Intercultural Leadership Institute, National Art Strategies, Women's Center for Creative Work, Common Field, University of Chicago Place Lab-Rebuild Foundation, and University of Houston College of the Arts-Project Row Houses.

Chief Policy Wonk Emeritus

Chief Policy Wonk Emeritus

From the USDAC’s founding until January 2019, Arlene Goldbard served as Chief Policy Wonk, working with the National Cabinet, developing policy proposals, authoring guides and toolkits, and helping to design and implement many USDAC initiatives. She is a writer, visual artist, speaker, consultant and cultural activist whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Her blog and other writings may be downloaded from her Web site: www.arlenegoldbard.com. Her books include The Wave and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future; New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, an international anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been published in Art in America, Theatre, Tikkun, Othering and Belonging, and many other journals. She has addressed many academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe on topics ranging from the ethics of community arts practice to the development of integral organizations. She has provided advice and counsel to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Independent Television Service, Appalshop, Tyler School of Art, and dozens of others. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center


The USDAC is an ongoing project shaped by many. Other catalytic collaborators include Through interviews and conversations, dozens of individuals have contributed to its development (though are not responsible for current programming). They include, but are not limited to: Marcy Arlin, Caron Atlas, Daniel Banks, Jack Becker, Eric Booth, Andrew Boyd, Kevin Bott, Alexa Bradley, Jeff Chang, Emma Shaw Crane, Stephen Duncomb, Kathy Engel, Lee Sunday Evans, Caleb Hammons, Bob Holman, Morgan Jenness, Stanley Katz, Erica Kohl-Arenas, Liz Lerman, Todd Lester, Roberta Levitow, Jessica Litwak, Randy Martin, Hannah Merriman, Grace Needlman, Rachel Parish, Rachel Plattus, Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Lisandra Maria Ramos, Yosi Sargent, Levana Saxon, Alissa Schwartz, Baraka Sele, Niegel Smith, Doris Sommers, Aaron Stern, Molly Sturges, Caridad Svich, Carlton Turner, Duncan Wall, and others. Thanks to former team and Action Squad members Jeff Placencia, Christie Goshe, Jessica Halfyard, Bob Bland, David Tomassini, Beth Brodsky, Melissa McClung, Lauren Zanedis, Soo Hyun Noh, Jess Solomon, Yolanda Wisher, Stephanie Johnstone, Liz Maxwell, Cordelia Istel, Tiffany Bradley, Ericka Taylor, Max Powers, Nikhil Melnechuk, Amanda Damewood, Claire Arkin, Veena Vasista, David Greenson, Rafa Kern, Mo Manklang, Monica Montgomery, Mary Morgan, Josh Adler, Liliana Ashman, Dorit Avganim, Jordan Cambell, Jax Gil, Liz Green, Sara Harvey, Kristen Scott Kennedy, Marinna Guzy, Amie Lam, Shawn Lent, Karie Liao, Angela Miles, Laurenellen McCann, Jalessa Mungin, Allison Schifani, Ralph Stalter, Jr., Les Talusan, Vanessa Urbina, Julie Yost, Jenna Zhu, Kate McNeely, Lea A. Gilmore, Katherin Canton, Yvette Hyater-Adams, Devon Kelley-Yurdin, Harold Steward and the many others who have lent talent and time to the USDAC.